BCA: How Serious Is The North Korean Crisis?

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump

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Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump

Although recent dialogue in politics mentions US military confrontations with North Korea, many BCA students do not believe that it will become a violent conflict. In recent months, North Korea has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests that demonstrated the country’s ability to launch ballistic missiles beyond its immediate region. In a recent survey sent out, BCA students were asked how familiar they were with the issue of North Korea today, and how serious they thought the North Korean crisis was. On a 1 to 5 scale measuring the level of familiarity on the issue, with 5 signifying most familiar, 0% selected 1, 15.6% selected 2, 28.1% selected 3, 40.6% selected 4, and 15.6% selected 5. When asked to rate the seriousness of the crisis, 0% chose 1, 0% chose 2, 21.9% chose 3, a staggering 59.4% chose 4, and 18.6% chose 5. It seems that most students are familiar with the issue to some degree, and most would consider it mildly serious to very serious.

Students had varying opinions about this issue. According to AAST sophomore Manushri Dalvi, the danger is not imminent. North Korea won’t attack the US unless the US does something to harm them. She concluded that the US should stay on the sidelines instead of escalating the issue.

One AAST freshman said, “North Korea probably won’t attack because it’s going to die immediately if it does so. But if it gets desperate enough, or if they think the US is going to launch a preemptive strike, it might attack with full force.” He pointed out that denuclearization is unlikely because Kim Jong Un (Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and supreme leader of North Korea) never keeps his commitments on diplomacy. He concluded, “Trying to hold leverage might escalate into an arms race, or proliferation, which is bad. Therefore, we need to calmly talk with North Korea about what options they have, instead of threatening them. China’s help would be extremely significant.”

Melissa Rose, an ABF sophomore, thought the current situation was more dangerous. “I think this issue is actually very scary. It’s horrifying to know that as days pass, minutes advance, North Korea is putting their best efforts towards developing nuclear missiles that could destroy many communities around the world.” She added, “Sadly, from what I know, there is nothing we can really do to stop this issue because this is our world. Wars, disputes, and tension will unfortunately always be inevitable.”

Another AAST freshman suggested a possible solution to the US conflict with North Korea. “I think military affront alone against North Korea is futile. Rather, we should provide support to countries near North Korea to establish and infrastructure and such. Then, North Korean refugees can be taken in after Pyongyang authority is disbanded.” Several others were in agreement that military confrontation with North Korea would be foolish and unsuccessful.

Other students gave humanitarian reasons to avoid using force. “Although North Korea’s nuclear threat is a huge issue,” said an AMST freshman, “it shouldn’t distract from the humanitarian crisis…a majority of North Koreans face food insecurity and have no healthcare system. Several million people in North Korea don’t even have consistent access to clean, drinking water. Political figures often neglect the people of North Korea and focus on the nuclear program.”

The BCA student body seems to believe that while the issue of North Korea is definitely something to worry about, a military solution isn’t the answer. Cameron Guan, an AMST senior, quoted Sun Tzu: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Hopefully, world leaders are able to solve this issue without raising a fight,” he added.